Friday, 15 April 2011

Shut Up!

Okay I'm turned on so lets go back to business. Today while waiting for my phone to charge to full, I am going to talk about the shutter and aperture. For new semi-pro or DSLR users, do pay attention as this is one of the most important thing to decide when taking a photo using those cameras. In my previous post, I've talked about shutter speed, which is the time duration of the shutter being opened and closed again. Camera is a visual apparatus so they are simply compared to a human eye. Shutter can be said to be like the human eyelids, but imagine your eyelids are always remain closed. Then you want to take a photo, then you open your eyelids for a duration of time, recording the picture and closing it again. Simply said. The shutter speed is measured by seconds, ranging from as fast as 1/2000 seconds to as slow as a few minutes. A sample picture with a slow shutter speed is like the following.
"Playing With Light" by Adzrin Mansor
Now shutter speed works with its close friend, which is aperture. The aperture is something like the pupils in your eyes, its the hole that is located in the centre of the Iris or the coloured part of the human eye. Well our pupils can dilate and contract according to light conditions, making the hole smaller in bright light and bigger in twilight situations. The camera aperture does practically the same. The aperture opening size is measured in f-stop values, for example F1.4, F2.8, and F22.0. The smaller the value, the larger the opening.

How does this duo work together? Usually photographers would want the fastest shutter speed the camera can offer. Therefore they like to set it at F2.8 which is the lowest f-stop value most cameras offer. In fine light situations, it will offer a lovely 1/250s shutter speed for example. The small value are also gives the effect of background blur which is probably the most attention grabbing result from a DSLR. But you wouldn't want to use a small f-stop at a bright sunny beach as your pictures will be plain white. Use a large f-stop shooting a night panorama, your shutter speed will suffer or your pictures will be just plain black. The following photo is a photo taken using a small f-stop value, which gives an effect of a blurry background and gives a sense of depth in the photo. It is taken on 1/400s with F4.1, telephoto zoom.
"Photography Craze at Dataran Merdeka" by Adzrin Mansor
I can't give much about the values of aperture and shutter speed because it varies widely in different conditions. I like to use F2.8 with various shutter speeds depending on light conditions when I am on Manual mode, practically I would change the settings on the spot. Some would ridicule people using Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority modes because it is auto. Using manual is much more fun as it challenges you to take good pictures and change settings as fast as a few seconds. It is not wrong to use auto modes but when the time is right, play with manual mode. If the results came out good, you'll have more pride to your work. Remember! Play more, learn more...

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